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With increasing demand of rich user interfaces yet not affecting performance in other words improvement of performance, AJAX has been proven as very successful methodology. With requirement of better handling of user events and writing less java scripts JSF and XHTML has been in high demand.

Good News, with Netweaver CE release SAP has become more open to adapt more industry standards for user interface development such as JSR168, AJAX, JSF, Web2.0. Netweaver CE not only supports JEE5.0 and the above standards NWDS also provides wizard to develop them in netweaver enviornment.

Vendors like ICEFaces has provided standards-compliant AJAX-based solution for rapidly creating pure-Java rich web applications that are easily maintained, extended, and scaled, at very low cost.

Key Features of Netweaver CE:

– Full support of the Java EE 5 standards.

– Focus on simplified development, based on WTP 1.5 and Eclipse 3.2.

– IDE support for Java EE 5, for instance, Dali and WS design time.

– Implementation of the Service Data Objects (SDO) 2.1 standard, which simplifies data programming for applications and frameworks.

– Implementation of the JSR168 for development of standard-based portlets.

– First-class Java-based Job scheduler implementation.

– Scalable, robust, and reliable SAP JVM.

– Connectivity features to SAP back-end and Web-service-enabled systems.

– MaxDB database.

For the full list of features in the SAP NetWeaver Application Server, Java™ EE 5 Edition, see the following document:http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/servlet/prt/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/f98c731d-0e01-0010-dfa5-dfb8f49dac6e

IceFaces:

ICEfaces provides a rich web presentation environment for JavaServer Faces (JSF) applications that enhances the standard JSF framework and lifecycle with AJAX-based interactive features. ICEfaces replaces the standard HTML-based JSF renderers with Direct-to-DOM (D2D) renderers, and introduces a lightweight AJAX bridge to deliver presentation changes to the client browser and to communicate user interaction events back to the server-resident JSF application. Additionally, ICEfaces provides an extensive AJAX-enabled component suite that facilitates rapid development of rich interactive web-based applications.
http://www.icesoft.com/developer_guides/icefaces/htmlguide/devguide/overview.html

IceFaces on Portal:
http://www.icefaces.org/main/product/portals.iface

Steps to develop IceFaces Application in SAP NW CE enviornment:
1. SAP NWDS is eclipse 3.2 based IDE and there is a plugin available for iceface development in Eclipse. We will use the same plugin to develop iceface applications within SAP NWDS.
It can be downloaded from
http://www.icefaces.org/main/downloads/os-downloads.iface.
It contains ICEfaces runtime library v1.7.1.

2. After downloading the plugin, please go through the readme.pdf file which describes the further steps needs to be done to add icefaces plugin in NWDS(Eclipse).

3. Download latest release of iceface http://www.icefaces.org/main/downloads/os-downloads.iface
It will contain iceface specific jars, taglibs, tutorial and samples.

4. Now lets find out a sample example from iceface tutorial and first deploy it in SAP Netweaver CE.
It may be available at icefacessamples     utorial asicInputText.
Import this project in NWDS and run build.xml.

5. build.xml will generate a war file, deploy it in Netweaver CE using following steps.
a. go to deploy view
b. select external deployable archives and press “+” button and add the newly created war file.
c. write click it and select deploy option.

6. On successful deployment run application.

Further important steps to make IceFace application JSR168 portlet.

7. put tag “ice:portlet” after “body” tag and “/ice:portlet” before “/body”
tag in basicinput.jsp.

8. Add portlet.xml under /Webcontent/Web-inf folder.

9. portlet.xml

10. Do build again and deployment again.

11. Go to SAP Netweaver CE portal and login

12. Expand “portlets” and select your portlet sampleportlet2. Right click and copy it.

13. Select “Portal Contents” and paste it as pcd component in your folder so your jsr168 application automatically becomes iview. Preview the iview and we are done 🙂

Please follow above steps and make your icefaces application possibly run as SAP portal iview.
Incase you find any issues please contact me.

– Ritesh

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